Stick with IMF, economists say

Government’s economic reform programme will stand a better chance of succeeding if Barbados continues under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrangement after the current one expires on September 30.

As the country awaits an announcement from Government on the issue, its senior economic advisor Dr Kevin Greenidge said the IMF partnership was valuable in executing the initial Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme.

His expectation was that the same outcome would be achieved if the international financial institution was on board as the authorities implemented a revised BERT plan.

Economist Professor Emeritus Michael Howard also supported another round of IMF involvement after the current four-year Extended Fund Facility ended, saying that with Barbados lacking strong economic buffers, “the IMF may have to be a crutch to keep the economy on course”.

The two economists were responding to international credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service position that Barbados being in another IMF programme would improve its chances of getting a credit rating upgrade.



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